Exchanging Wants

How much better and how much wiser it is, beloved, just to say, “Lord Jesus, I want what you want."

Scripture: Romans 15:32, Exodus 33:14, Psalm 23, Isaiah 28, Matthew 11, 1 Corinthians 6


And hello again, dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Doing all right? Yes, we’re in the world but not of it. That’s the reason for this corny greeting. I want to remind you that you can be in our world that’s full of sin and demons and also full of lives that had been tarnished and broken by sin. And God can keep you clear and clean and give you a compassionate heart so you can help others. This is your friend, Dr. Cook, and I’m glad to be back with you once again. And I want to turn with you to the 15th chapter of Romans to take up the last phrase of verse 32.

The last time we got together we talked about joy in the will of God, you remember that? The Savior says, “I delight to do Thy will, O God: yea, Thy law is within my heart.” The Psalmist speaking those words prophetically foreshadowed the joy that our Savior had at doing the will of God. He said, “My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me and to finish His work.” “Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the majesty on high.”

Delight, joy comes in doing the will of God. Well, that’s a great lesson to learn. Many people seek for happiness as an end in itself. Actually it’s a byproduct of doing God’s blessed holy will. Now, he said, “That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God and may with you be refreshed.” That whole phrase “with you be refreshed” is one verb form in your Greek New Testament. It’s a long word “sunanapaumai.” And that means to have rest for yourself along with other people. Rest is the component of that verb.

It means to rest in fellowship with others. “That I may with you enjoy some rest.” I think that’s what he was saying. Well, that immediately turns our mind to the various scriptures that speak of rest and peace and refreshment in our Blessed Lord, doesn’t it? God’s presence, God’s presence is the source of all rest just as it is of joy. “In thy presence there is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore,” said the Psalmist. In just the same way, the presence of God brings rest for your soul.

That famous quote from Exodus where God spoke to Moses comes to mind. Exodus 33 verse 14. God said to Moses, “my presence shall go with thee and I will give thee rest.” The Psalmist said in Psalm 23, “He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul.” The idea of divine restoration, divine rest, divine relaxation. God is never in a hurry, He’s never upset, He’s never flurried, He’s never worried, He’s never behind time, His schedule is always precisely on time, and when you’re working together with Him and when you’re practicing as one says the presence of God, you have that beautiful rest of soul even in the midst of circumstances which might be terribly upsetting otherwise.

Someone said to a military man years ago, a man who was required by virtue of his capacity in the military, to attend many functions which he really wasn’t desirous of attending because there was drinking and body talk and all the rest that go along with the average, relaxed, let us say military atmosphere. And he didn’t like that as a Christian and yet he was required to be there because of the position that he held. And someone said to him, said, “Jim, how do you do this? How can you put up with this? Doesn’t it do something to you spiritually? Don’t you feel compromised by it all?”

“Well,” he said, “my duty as a military man is to do what I’m told. But,” he said, “there is no one in all the world that can keep me from pulling down the shades of my mind and being alone with my Lord even while I’m in the midst of an occasion in which I have no real part because I’m a Christian.” He said, “I pulled on the shades of my mind that I’m alone with my Lord.” Isn’t that beautiful? Well, now you can do that, you know. That doesn’t make you any less efficient on your job. If you’re working on an assembly line you’re not going to daydream, lest you lose a finger or a hand.

You’re going to pay attention to your job but at the same time, you can have that perfect rest of soul that comes from enjoying the presence of your Blessed Lord. Do you know why? Because He dwells within you. “Know ye not,” Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6. “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.” “Christ in you, the hope of glory,” says Paul. And so any time you wish and all day long and all night long and in every kind of circumstance you can pull down the shades of your mind and be alone with your Lord.

Ah, dear friend, learn the secret of the rest that there is in the presence of God. And then we need to be reminded that true repose, true rest, true refreshment is not found any place else. I had a preacher friend who complained that he was so busy with his church and with his family that he never did have time to pray enough to really feel holy. Have any of you preachers had that difficulty, I wonder? Well, my friend was complaining about this and he just said, “Oh,” he said, “if I didn’t have all these duties and if I wasn’t so busy with my church and family and all, I would be a better man, I know.”

Well, it so happened that his wife and the two children went to the eastern coast where her relatives were. They went for a two-week visit. And at the same time, there was a kind of a slow season in his own church so that he really didn’t have an awful lot that he had to do. He had to preach on Sunday and lead the prayer meeting but there wasn’t much else beside that and an occasional hospital call in his little rural parish. Well, after a week or 10 days had gone by, I called him up one day, and I said, “Hey, how are you doing?”

“Oh,” he said, “I guess I’m doing all right.” “Well,” I said, “I’m reminded of the fact that you said if it weren’t for your church and family duties, you could be a real holy man. Are you any holier now than you were 10 days ago,” I said. He said, “No, I’m not.” He was so discouraged and so down because he had expected that somehow things would be better if circumstances were different. You see, you don’t find rest of soul by changing your circumstances or indeed by changing your geography.

Some people say, “Well, I’ll move to a different job or a different city or a different state or different surroundings, and then things will be different.” No, they won’t. You see, your problem is that which was spoken by the minister one morning when he got up and said, “I want to share with you the news that Mrs. so and so has moved to such and such a city on the west coast. She wants to get a new start there and get away from her troubles. Well,” he said, “I have news for her. She’s going to have as many troubles out there as she had here because, you see, she brought herself with her when she moved.” That’s the problem, isn’t it? Yup.

Only rest in God, “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.” Then God offers that rest. “To whom he said,” this is a verse from Isaiah 28, “To whom he said, this is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet,” God says, “yet they would not listen.” You know God offers us His presence and He offers us the relaxation of committing the situation to Him. But oftentimes, we’re stubborn and we just don’t want to give up, isn’t it true?

Like some stubborn little child, we refuse to be helped and then we come down and fall and we’re bruised and we feel bad. I wish that I could learn that lesson once and for all. I have to relearn it. I wonder how about you? I have to relearn that lesson of letting go of things to God and letting Him handle them. And when you do that, oh, the blessed wonderful, luxurious peace there is that God gives you because He is the source of that divine rest. “Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee.”

Now, there’s another truth and it’s found in Matthew 11. Real rest is found only when you take on the yoke of Christ’s service. As long as you’re insisting on doing things your own way, you have very little rest of spirit. But when you take on the yoke- notice what He said, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. And ye shall find rest unto your souls.” His yoke, His burden.

Why is this so? Because as long as I’m seeking to direct my own way, it’s a matter of effort on my part, number one; number two, it’s a matter of misdirection often, so that I have to retrace my steps and come back and say “I’m sorry, I was wrong;” and number three, it oftentimes can turn out to be tragically wrong and with my broken, bruised heart and spirit, I have to come back and say, “Oh, God, I blew it. Forgive me.” That’s what happens when we insist on doing things our own way.

How much better and how much wiser it is, beloved, just to say, “Lord Jesus, I want what you want. I want to serve You today. I want to carry Your burden today. I want to be hooked up with You.” “My yoke,” said He, “A yoke of oxen is two oxen pulling together.” He says, “My yoke.” What He’s actually saying is “Pull with Me.” Pull with Me. Be partners with Me. You’ll find that it’s easier than doing it alone. What a precious offer that is. Rest in the yoke and the burden because He said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Pull with the Lord Jesus today. Many times throughout the day, look up and say, “Lord Jesus, I want to work with you. I want to pull with You. I want to carry the burden with You. Direct me.” He’ll do it. If you ask for God’s direction, you’ll get it. Believe me.

Dear Father today, help us to pick up the yoke and carry the burden of the Savior and find rest, in His name I pray, Amen.

Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!

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